Staff Picks: Run the Jewels’ “Don’t Get Captured” Video, ‘Joshua Tree’ Anniversary Tour, More


Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Scroll through for our picks below.

Big Little Lies

I’m late to the party, but I just finished Big Little Lies over the holiday weekend. The ending felt a little too neatly wrapped up and simultaneously rushed, but it was a great showcase for some incredibly talented women — and totally demolished any dumb celebrity crush I had on Alexander Skarsgård. There were really great character subtleties, with Adam Scott’s Ed and Nicole Kidman’s Celeste, for example. He shifts between sad sack, semi-perv, and adoring husband while she brilliantly captured the roller coaster of emotions between self-destruction and arousal. — Alison Nastasi, Weekend Editor

When Mary Berry Says She’s Looking for a “Snap” on the Great British Baking Show

After merely seeing headlines about it for a while, and deciding it’d be best to avoid another enticing series in which people make pretty things then have their egos punctured one by one, I was finally convinced to watch my first episode of the Great British Baking Show. I selected the episode somewhat at random, and it turned out to be the perfect initiation. Season 2, Episode 2: Bread doesn’t sound like the most glamorous episode, but the first challenge featured the one word that got me hooked: “snap.” You see, contestants had to make Grossini (breadsticks), and one of the determining factors was if the creations earned the verb/noun (they use it as both) in question. Seeing the very British hosts, and particularly Mary Berry, walking around from table to table in search of the elusive, revered “snap” struck me as oddly philosophical; particularly as, for the millisecond in which she’d deliver the word, Mary Berry’s whole being would become electrified. The fact that 15 minutes of television could be so engagingly and tensely based on the quest for such a small thing was surreal: in the era of melting ice caps and unhinged nationalists seizing power, there’s something dissonantly fascinating about humans’ ability to, on a day to day basis, continue to cast one’s focus on (literally) granular pleasures. I guess watching British people fawn over sweets as though their country weren’t grappling with a xenophobic identity crisis might be one of mine. — Moze Halperin, Senior Editor

Run the Jewels’ “Don’t Get Captured” Video

If you want the full sense of the tonal dissonance of Great British Baking Show with the times, perhaps you should try pairing it with a Run the Jewels song! Killer Mike and El-P have released the video for their RTJ3 track “Don’t Get Captured,” and it’s a fantastic, hellish stop motion animation video from Chris Hopewell, who not long ago demonstrated his abilities with telling politicized stop motion horror stories in Radiohead’s “Burn the Witch” video. The video sees the two rappers, rendered in claymation, traveling through an amusement park ride version of a dilapidated cityscape, and the systemic injustices you might find therein, illustrating lyrics like “Don’t stray from the path, remain where you at/That maximizes our profit /Is that blunt? Oh well, hell, so’s this boot/We live to hear you say ‘please don’t shoot.'” All other characters are displayed as skeletons, as the video reflects the lyrics that trace the inhumane ways a capitalist system deals with and perpetuates inner city violence: through solutions like “sending in the feds,” mass incarceration, gentrification and monetization therein. The video hits heavy-handed notes, but they work — and the funhouse rendering serves its horrifying purpose, as top-hatted corporate skeletons drown civilians in a pool of money and sit around a table sawing the world in half. — Moze Halperin, Senior Editor

U2’s Joshua Tree Anniversary Tour

I’ve written before, in this very space, about my acceptance of U2’s current status of outdated relic, and I remain fine with it – so much so, in fact, that I ventured out of the house and over to Meadowlands Stadium to catch their tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their smash album The Joshua Tree. It was one of those “we’re playing the whole record” affairs, for better or for worse: better in that it gave us super-fans a chance to hear album tracks like “In God’s Country” (above) and “Red Hill Mining Town” that we’ve never heard live, though the album’s sequencing (the major hits are very much front-loaded) left more casual listeners a little restless by its conclusion. But they supplemented the album with pre-Joshua hits before it, and several songs after, with obvious stuff like “Mysterious Ways” and “Elevation” joined by the likes of “Miss Sarajevo” and “Ultra Violet (Light My Way),” beautifully supplemented by moving visual accompaniment on pretty much the biggest video screen I’ve ever seen. Say what you will about them – they’re past their prime, they’re smug, they only appeal to Gen X dads like me – but they can still put on one hell of a show. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor